review and cover mani: when we were lost

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

Survival. It's a concept these high school students never had to consider--until their plane crashes in a remote rainforest with no adults left alive. With many of them falling prey to threats from both the jungle and man, they soon realize that danger comes in many sinister forms. 

Tom Calloway didn't want to go on a field trip to Costa Rica, but circumstances had him ending up sitting in the back of the plane--which was the only part that was intact after the crash in the remote South American wilderness. Tom and a small group of his classmates are fortunate to be alive, but their luck quickly runs out when some of them fall prey to the unfamiliar threats of the jungle--animals, reptiles, insects, and even the unforgiving heat. Every decision they make could mean life or death.

As the days go by and the survivors' desperation grows, things get even more perilous. Not everyone can cope with the trauma of seeing their friends die, and a struggle for leadership soon pits them against each other. And when they come across evidence of other people in the middle of the rainforest, does that mean they're safe--or has their survival come to an even more vicious end?


WHEN WE WERE LOST immediately reminded me of a certain television show involving a plane crash and tropical seclusion, but aside from their similar circumstances and setting, they were worlds apart. Tom, the epitome of a reluctant narrator, had no choice but to break out of his comfort zone, both in terms of assertiveness and surviving the inhospitable environment. The outsider perspective worked well, as outsiders are often excellent observers, and Tom was able to quickly identify who would contribute to their survival versus those who’d accelerate their demise. Two discernable groups emerged, similar to what you’d expect from a high school cafeteria, so while Tom battled predators from the jungle, he also found himself immersed in a power struggle. The sort of young man who kept to himself, Tom had no interest in said power struggle, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a target. Having parallel sources of tension, the lethally unpredictable Amazon jungle and the volatile group dynamic, resulted in a page-burning pace. No matter where they were or what they were doing, the group's safety was always at risk. My favourite sort of read. 

Jacket design by Tracy Shaw and Sammy Yuen.
Jacket art by Travis Commeau.

I also really love when novels begin in more of an abstract manner. A challenge, for sure, because it has the potential to backfire, but WHEN WE WERE LOST had a phenomenally executed, pseudo-rambling introduction about the butterfly effect. Relevant to the book for sure, but certainly not a “fall into the action sort of deal” it was more like a gradual unraveling to get to the point. Hella hard to accomplish and it let me know straight away that I would enjoy the writing. Things came full circle at the end, which was even more impressive, so I’m very interested in reading other books by Kevin Wignall. 

Teens who sounded and behaved like teens, several majorly surprising twists, and the ever present fear of spontaneous death, WHEN WE WERE LOST is perfect for readers who love action and adventure. Available next Tuesday, June 4th wherever books are sold. 

Big thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for a complimentary ARC!


For this mani, I used:

OPI – Stay Off the Lawn, Fearlessly Alice, Dating a Royal, I Just Can’t Cope-acabana

FingerPaints – Paper Mache and Black Expressionism

China Glaze – Emerald Bae

Mitty Burns – candy brush

So Nailicious – warrior brush

Glisten and Glow –  topcoat 


  1. Hope you are doing well. Have a great weekend.



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